§ Mr. CLOUGH
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in the case of a member of an industrial and co-operative society who in 1914 made purchases to the amount of £20, and received a so-called dividend of 2s. in the £, is held, according to Rule 10, Fourth Schedule, Part I., of the Finance (No. 2) Act, 1915, to have received £2 as profits for the pre-war trade year; whether, in the case of the same member in 1915 purchasing the same quantities of provisions, but, owing to the increased market values, at a cost of £30, and again receiving a dividend of 2s. in the £, is held, according to the same rule, to have received £3 as profits; whether the Excess Profits Duty of 60 per cent., subject to certain deductions, is levied upon £1 or the difference between the £2 pre-war and the £3 owing to the War; and whether, in view of the fact that there has been no increase in the so-called dividend and no addition to the quantities purchased, the Excess Profits Duty is being levied not upon profits but upon the increased cost of food and other necessaries of life?
§ Mr. BONAR LAW
The Excess Profits Duty is charged, not upon individual members of a co-operative society, but upon the society as such. The duty is levied on the increased surplus of the society subject to an adjustment for variations in the number of members. The increase in the surplus is not necessarily dependent on the increase in the price of commodities.